Winter Institute - Innovative Economics

Speakers and Presenters

Featured Speakers

Deirdre McCloskey, Luncheon and Keynote Speaker

Deirdre McCloskey
"Adventures of a New Transwoman: 1995-2017"
Luncheon Speaker
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Feb. 23, 2017
912 Regency Plaza

Deirdre will discuss her experience transitioning from Donald to Deirdre. We will follow her journey navigating the world and we’ll hear about the joys and pains of this journey.  This talk relates to her book Crossing: A Memoir.  The Library Journal shares this commentary on Crossing: "McCloskey, married for 30 years, the father of two, and an economics and history professor, was a secret crossdresser for 41 years, as 'Jane.' At 52, he realized that his real identity was as a woman and began transitioning as 'Dee' to become 'Deirdre.' At the heart of this fascinating and poignant story, told in the third person, are the two years (one in Holland) of hormones, multiple surgeries, electrolysis, and a legal name change, all part of the physical and emotional 'crossing' from male to female. The big-boned Deirdre describes the joy of 'passing,' the fear of being 'read,' and the occasional loving support she has received in contrast to painful estrangement from family, friends, and colleagues ... Revealing, humorous, and provocative."  $25 or $18 for students.  

"Liberal Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Make Us Rich”
Keynote Speaker
10-11:20 a.m.
Feb. 24, 2017
Ritsche Auditorium, Stewart Hall

McCloskey taught economics, history, English and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) from 2000-2015. A well-known economist, historian and rhetorician, she has written 17 books and about 400 scholarly pieces on topics ranging from technical economics and statistical theory to transgender advocacy and the ethics of the bourgeois virtues. 

She is known as a "conservative” economist, Chicago-School style, but protests that "I’m a literary, quantitative, postmodern, free-market, progressive-Episcopalian, Midwestern woman from Boston who was once a man. Not 'conservative'! I'm a Christian libertarian."

  • Until 1995 Deirdre McCloskey was "Donald." A Harvard graduate, she was tenured in economics and history at the University of Chicago and taught for 19 years at the University of Iowa.
  • She's been at UIC since 2000 as a Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication, and adjunct in Classics and Philosophy.
  • Her book Crossing was a New York Times Notable Book in 1999.
  • She has held a Guggenheim and National Humanities Fellowship, and National Science Foundation grants, and has been a Phi Beta Kappa Lecturer.

"Tests of Statistical Significance are Virtually Meaningless*"
Concurrent Session Presenter
1-1:50 p.m.
Feb. 24, 2017
Atwood Theater, Atwood Memorial Center

*Some statistics knowledge required

Corey Tollefson, Featured Speaker

Corey Tollefson
SVP and GM of Retail, Infor
"How to Grow a Business from an Idea to 900 employees in 18 Months"
6:15-7:15 p.m.
Feb. 23, 2017
912 Regency Plaza

Corey is highly regarded for his innovative work and strategies which have helped propel Infor's Retail division to the market leader in providing.  Under Corey's leadership, Infor Retail was launched and proudly has created a "co-innovation" approach to working with their clients.

Bio: Tollefson is responsible for leading a global team to develop, market, and service the industry's first cloud-based, retail suite of applications. His organizational design principle is to serve retailers in a more strategic 21st century fashion; based upon co-innovation, shared success while providing a relationship that enables digital transformations. He brings more than 20 years of experience to the team, having worked with some of the largest retailers in the world, including Macy's, Safeway, Williams Sonoma and countless more.

Prior to joining Infor, Tollefson held a variety of roles in retail, including software development, license sales, and product strategy. Most recently he served as the head of strategy for Oracle Retail, where he spent 11 years helping Oracle formulate its Retail division following the Retek acquisition.

In his spare time, Corey is involved in the music scene with ownership in Groupees.com, a new modern experience platform designed to tilt the economics to indie artists and create one to one relationships between artists and their fans.

Tollefson holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Management Information Systems from Saint Cloud State University - G.R. Herberger College of Business.

Economic Outlook

Nimantha Manamperi

Nimanthat Manamperi
Assistant Professor of Economics, St. Cloud State University
"Economic Outlook"
5-6:15 p.m.
Feb. 23, 2017
912 Regency Plaza

Come hear the national, state and local economic outlook.   Presenters will discuss current economic conditions and their predictions for the coming year.

Nimantha Manamperi is an Assistant Professor of Economics at St. Cloud State University.  He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Texas Tech University.  His research addresses:  Economic Growth, Monetary Policy, BRICS Countries and South Asian Economies, Economic Education.   His research has been published in many respected academic journals including:  Journal of Policy Modeling, Applied Economic Letters, Empirical Economic Letters, Journal of Economics and Financial Issues.  He enjoys teaching and specializes in teach Macroeconomics, Forecasting and Time Series Econometrics, Monetary Policy.  Previously he worked at Berea College and as a Business Analyst at Roomsnet International (pvt) Ltd.

Luke Greiner

Luke Greiner
"Economic Outlook"
5-6:15 p.m.
Feb. 23, 2017
912 Regency Plaza

Come hear the national, state and local economic outlook. Presenters will discuss economic conditions and their predictions for the coming year.

Luke Greiner is DEED's regional analyst for central and soutwestern Minnesota. Luke conducts research and analysis and writes publications about Greater Minnesota's economy, job market, industry trends, workforce availability, and hiring demand.  He has a bachelor's degree in management from Park University in Parkville, Missouri. Luke worked in workforce development for DEED before becoming an analyst and currently serves on the Minnesota's Sate ACT Council.

King Banaian

King Banaian
Dean, School of Public Affairs, St. Cloud State University
"Economic Outlook"
5-6:15 p.m.
Feb. 23, 2017
912 Regency Plaza

Come hear the national, state, and local economic outlook.  Presenters will discuss current economic conditions and their predictions for the coming year.

King Banaian is dean of the School of Public Affairs  at St. Cloud State University.  He is also a professor in the Department of Economics at SCSU.  He holds the Ph.D. in economics from the Claremont Graduate School.   He is author of The Ukrainian Economy since Independence (Edward Elgar, 1998), co-editor of The Design and Use of Political Economy Indicators (Palgrave, 2008) and more than forty articles and book chapters discussing monetary policy and political economy.  He has served as a consultant to central banks and governments in several developing. He is a senior policy fellow of the Center of the American Experiment in Minneapolis, MN.  King was state representative in the Minnesota House for District 15B, 2011-13.  He is also host of the King Banaian Show on Business1440 KYCR broadcast in Minneapolis, and co-author of the St. Cloud Quarterly Business Report.  He lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota, with his wife Barbara.

Chamber Luncheon

Teresa Bohnen, Gail Ivers and Panel

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce
Harbor Drive Hookup

Park Industries
Playhouse Childcare
"Innovation in Action" Panel
11:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m.
Feb. 24, 2017
Cascade, Atwood Memorial Center

Learn about innovation in action when this group of business owners share their stories. From child care to farming you'll hear how following your passion and creatively serving your customers ends up in a better product and increased opportunities. The session will include a combination of live presentations and video.

Playhouse Child Care:  Farm to Table - Keeping our Children Healthy

Kristen Vosberg, Program Administrator

Kristen has a Bachelor of Elective Studies degree from St. Cloud State University with a Pre-Kindergarten and Early Childhood Special Education teaching license.   She has worked at Playhouse Child Care for 21 years in various roles.

Catherine Breattensborg-Brown, Health & Safety/Food Service Administrator

Catherine graduated from the Rasmussen College's Childcare Specialist Program in 2000.   She began working at Playhouse Child Care in 1999 as an assistant teacher/teacher before being promoted into her current administration roles.

Jenna Peterson, Administration & Operations Assistant

Jenna has an AAS degree in sales and management from St. Cloud Technical & Community College and an AAS degree in child development from Alexandria Technical College. She has worked at Playhouse Child Care for eight years.

Harbor Drive Hookup:  Kick-Starting the Dream

Amie and Jon Theis

Harbor Drive Hookup is a two-piece act that sings old country, rock and roll, and similar-style music.   Amie and Jon started out with their own video company, but soon learned their hearts belonged in music and performing for events, nursing homes, weddings and benefits.   They ran a Kickstarter campaign in late 2016, reaching 118 percent of their goal.   They are using the money to fund their debut album, scheduled for release in 2017.

Park Industries:  From Idea to Market

Paul Schermerhorn, Manufacturing Engineering Manager

Paul has over 25 years experience leading operational support and new product introductions. Prior to joining Park, Paul spent 10 years locally with Electrolux where he led the development of new product designs to support rapidly evolving energy efficiency and government environmental requirements. He also spent 15 years in the medical industry helping introduce such innovations as drug-coated stents, catheter delivered heart valves and polymers for use in heart pacing and ICD devices.

Concurrent Session Presenters

Colin O'Reilly

Colin O'Reilly
Economics Professor, University of Wisconsin Stout
"Rocks to Rock Candy: Why Money and Inflation Matter"
9-9:50 Session
Feb. 24, 2017
Voyageurs, Atwood Memorial Center

This session will explore money and inflation. Have you taken out a loan for a home, a car or an education? Do you plan on retiring some day? Then inflation has impacted your life! But where does inflation come from? You use money every day, but what is money?

We will start with a discussion of what people have used as money over time, from gold and sea shells to giant pieces of stone and small pieces of paper. Participants will then take part in an activity where they bid on pieces of candy; in just minutes participants will experience inflation first hand. We will conclude with a brief look at some cases when inflation has shaped our history and our politics. When is the next time that inflation will shape your life? It may be sooner than you think.

Colin O’Reilly received his PhD in Economics from Suffolk University in 2014. As an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin – Stout Colin teaches courses in Money and Banking, and Economics of Conflict. He has researched the institutions promote economic development, in particular institutions that facilitate post-conflict recovery. In addition, Colin has written articles studying how crises can influence economic institutions. His articles have been published in peer reviewed journals including the European Journal of Political Economy, World Development and most recently in Contemporary Economic Policy. Finally, Colin has worked with economics education non-profits Economics Wisconsin and Economics for Business Professionals.

Richard MacDonald and Panelists

"Regional Consortium on Cybersecurity and Workforce Development"
9-9:50 Session
Feb. 24, 2017
Atwood Theater, Atwood Memorial Center

Society has yet to fully embrace the security challenges created by a digital world. Chief among these challenges is an inadequately prepared workforce to meet future Cybersecurity demands. Among other things, this session will detail some of the dimensions of the regional shortage of Cyber professionals by referencing information from http://cyberseek.org/heatmap.html as well as from a survey of businesses on the regional Cybersecurity skills gap.  This session will include a panel of regional experts from K-12 schools, colleges and universities, businesses and economic development organizations who will describe collaborative efforts to address projected shortages of regional Cybersecurity professionals in the St. Cloud area. Panelists will also discuss the innovative work they are doing to confront this future skills gap.

Rich MacDonald

Rich MacDonald
Interim Director of the School of Public Affairs Research Institute
Associate Professor of Economics
St. Cloud State University
Research Fellow, Varna Free University in Varna, Bulgaria

Dr. MacDonald has previously served as Senior Advisor for Program Development, Vice President of Programs, and Senior Fellow at the Council for Economic Education where he contributed to the advocacy for and development and delivery of economic, financial, and entrepreneurship education materials.  He is the co-author of the St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report as well as Quarterly Economic and Business Conditions Reports for Minnesota planning areas.  He has collaborated on numerous grant funded projects and is currently working on connecting work force development to cybersecurity.  Dr. MacDonald has a B.S. in economics from Alfred University, and a Ph.D. in economics from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Gail Cruikshank

Gail Cruikshank
Talent Director
Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation

Gail Cruikshank joined the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation in June 2014 in the role of Talent Director. In this role, she concentrates on efforts to attract, retain and expand the talent pool in the greater St. Cloud region, collaborating closely with all workforce stakeholders, including education institutions, businesses, and workforce partners, to identify and address regional talent challenges.

Prior to GSDC, Gail spent 28 years in retail management and corporate human resource roles at Bon Ton Department Stores. Gail is also a very active board member for Tanner’s Team Foundation providing support to Central MN families with children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

Dr. Melissa Hanzsek-Brill is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Education at St. Cloud State University. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics with an Engineering minor, a Master’s Degree in Mathematics, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education. Dr. Hanzsek-Brill has been involved with STEM Education and research for over 20 years, and works collaboratively with local school districts and industry on a variety of projects and initiatives focused on curriculum, assessment and pedagogical best practices.

Dr. Tirthankar Ghosh is a Professor of Computer Science and Information Technology at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Ghosh has been active in Cyber Security education and research for the past 11 years, and has been active in his profession with collaborative projects with industry and government. Dr. Ghosh is also the co-founder and Executive Board member of the Minnesota Cyber Careers Consortium. 

Ryan Salner, Network Administration faculty, St. Cloud Technical and Community College

Jason MacDonald, Center Minnesota Federal Credit Union

Matthew Vorell

Matthew Vorell
Department of Communication Studies, St. Cloud State University
"Creating Innovation Through Communication"
9-9:50 Session
Feb. 24, 2017
Alumni, Atwood Memorial Center

It is almost cliché to say that a company needs to innovate to remain viable in today’s economy. Unfortunately, many organizations seem to confuse innovation with imitation. Specifically, these companies believe innovation involves looking externally at their competition for new ideas or services. At best, such practices typically result in minor tweaks being made to existing products. Together we explore why and how companies can look inward for innovation, specifically regarding how they communicate about innovation. Through their communication, organizations often needlessly limit their innovative resources (i.e., too many bureaucratic layers, over reliance on formality). This session will examine these communication based obstacles to innovation and investigate ways to welcome and maintain innovation in the workplace.

Bio: Matt is a professor/consultant who challenges his students to see the creative influence of communication in shaping how we experience the world of work.  He is an Associate Professor in the department of Communication Studies at St. Cloud State University.  On campus, he teaches courses related to small group communication, communication the workplace, organizational communication, and also serves as his department’s internship director.  Since 2009, he has worked with many members of the Greater St. Cloud business community as a consultant.   He has also served on the Innovation Forum to plan and execute the annual greater St. Cloud Innovation Summit.  Currently, Matt’s research investigates how communication creates spaces within organizations where innovation flourishes.

Aaron Moore and Erin Perry Borron

Erin Perry Borron Aaron Moore

DAYTA Marketing
"Innovation: A Branding Guide"
1-1:50 p.m.
Feb. 24, 2017
Glacier, Atwood Memorial Center

Explore how an innovative company culture leads to an unforgettable brand and unique approaches to marketing, using case studies from companies such as ING Direct, Buzzfeed, Buffer, and more. Learn how to foster an innovative workplace, and how to showcase your culture as the face of your brand.

Erin Perry Borron,Head of Digital Solutions 

Armed with more than 10 years of digital marketing experience, Erin joined the DAYTA Marketing team in 2015. She helps match clients to technology and solutions that enhance their marketing strategy online and off. She is passionate about finding solutions that accelerate her clients' success.

Aaron Dougls Moore, Digital Project Manager

Armed with much less than the other Erin, Aaron joined DAYTA Marketing in 2014. Aaron specialized in project management and developing creative content for a variety of clients and industries. He is a firm believer in optimism and the power of humor.

John Blaska

John Blaska
Everspring Health

"Personalized Healthcare: A Path to Accessible Affordable Primary Care"
1-1:50 p.m.
Feb. 24, 2017
Alumni, Atwood Memorial Center

This presentation will explore how personalized healthcare offers both the target as well as the path for a new era of innovation in healthcare. We will look at how, in the era of big data, we can turn the ecosystem of healthcare and its resources back towards personalized healthcare. We will review the history of our system and see how we got to where we are now including opportunities and challenges. Then we will look closely at the core purpose of personalized healthcare and how this focus can help us innovate and develop an ecosystem that serves this primary objective.

The link between healthcare and economics is substantial. There are arguably few societal pillars that are more influential than the health of society’s members. When health is compromised innovation is stifled and productivity is impaired. In turn, healthcare becomes a key resource and a key influence in any economic component involving society’s members. Then add in the industry of healthcare and you have one of the most significant commercial components of economics on almost any level of society.

John Blaska is a leading researcher and consultant with a vision for creating a viable, globally accessible primary care model that meets modern need. John earned his doctorate with distinction in Healthy Aging and Longevity while traveling the world to experience healthcare in everyday lives; he currently specializes in integrative healthcare clinic innovation, developing and executing a leading edge clinic model as President of Everspring Health in Minneapolis. A recognized scholar and entrepreneur of 20 years, John’s mission is to create opportunities for better quality of life by delivering proficient lifestyle, health and healing resources.

John Rasmussen, Josh Bauer and Sauk Rapids-Rice High School

DECA members
Sauk Rapids-Rice High School

Sauk Rapids-Rice High School DECA Members
"DECA Market Research Projects"
2-2:50 p.m.
Feb. 24, 2017
Voyageurs, Atwood Memorial Center

Sauk Rapids-Rice DECA students will present their research on social, local and mobile marketing.  You can expect to hear new social, local and mobile marketing ideas.  You’ll also get to see what the high schools are doing to help develop 21st century skills in research, critical thinking, problem solving, and communication.

DECA is an association of marketing students that prepares future leaders and entrepreneurs for careers through education in marketing, finance, hospitality, management, and other business areas. DECA gives students an opportunity to showcase their professional skills in over 50 events, including mock job interviews, sales demos, and a variety of written projects. The Sauk Rapids – Rice chapter of DECA is one of the top 5 largest chapters in the state. Over the years the Sauk Rapids – Rice chapter has long been known for their commitment to success. The students featured here today are a small handful of our over 100 chapter members. These students are especially dedicated to their development as young professionals, which is what brought them here today. The chapter is led by advisors John Rassmussen, Ellie Cairns, and Josh Bauer.

Andrew Dahlberg and St. Cloud State University Entrepreneurship Club

St. Cloud State University Entrepreneurship Club
"Shark Tank"

Teams:
Matthew Anderson & Anthony Schwartz
Chaquanna Lattimore
Andrew Dahlberg & John Dahlberg

2-2:50 p.m.
Feb. 24, 2017
Glacier, Atwood Memorial Center

The SCSU Entrepreneurship club focuses on taking business ideas and developing actionable plans to create a functioning business. The club has helped a wide array of people ranging from kids just starting to cultivate their business idea to student run businesses licensing software out of silicon valley. This event includes three of those business ideas that the club has selected and feels will represent the Entrepreneurship Club best during the Winter Institute. 

Sonja Gidlow and Brian Hart

Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation
Sandler Training

"The Economic Impact of Recent Innovations in Greater St. Cloud"
2-2:50 p.m.
Feb. 24, 2017
Alumni, Atwood Memorial Center

This session will feature 2 recipients of the 2016 GSDC Innovation Award, Rollga and Operation Baby New Year.  Rollga is a start-up for-profit company.  Operation Baby New Year is a non-profit coalition.  Participants will view a video of each innovation and hear an analysis of how the innovation impacts our regional economy. 

Rollga received the for-profit Innovation Award for an emerging company for their patented foam roller. With its unique design, Rollga is used to relieve muscle and joint pains, stiffness and lack of mobility. When used, the foam roller bypasses the bone structure, such as the spine, shins and hips, to unlock hard to access trigger points. It also allows for muscle displacement to ensure the muscle fibers are guided and protected from damaging shifts and pressure. Rollga is sold in all 50 states, Israel, Australia, Canada, Japan, China, United Kingdom, and South Africa. More information can be found at www.rollga.com.

Operation Baby New Year received one of two Innovation Awards for non-profit organizations for utilizing grassroots resources and relational community organizing to raise tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of a high demand commodity, diapers, for families in crisis. It has created a regional dialogue about an under discussed and serious issue (diaper assistance) on behalf of the organizations who provide shelter and assistance for individuals and families in need. Operation Baby New Year is not one organization, but a coalition of many. It is a collaboration of community members, local businesses, and communities of faith who provide diapers to organizations who are on the front lines of poverty and homelessness every day. More information can be found at www.operationbabynewyear.com.